Sage, you may be correct. Obviously, FTR management agrees with you. Frankly, I’m not optimistic. Another $5.3 BILLION in common stock will have a chilling effect on dividend requirements and if the dividend cannot be maintained as a result of the added debt and declining customers, the market price of common will drop, new depreciation of plant notwithstanding. Revenue may be increased by “bundling,” as you indicate. On the other side, revenue will be lost by customers continually moving to cellular as we see throughout the landline communication industry. To reverse this trend FTR must do something different and more effective than we see with WIN, CNLS, or Q, all significant companies. That requires Capital. When you add the delay and uncertainty of revenue control by utility commissions and exposure to the effect of increased cost of money nationally by the Fed, and the fact that FTR’s management has never before operated an enterprise of this size, FTR may be risky business in search of dividends.
Verizon is judging that they are better positioned by taking back FTR’s common, whatever the risk, than to operate the properties. That does not set a positive going forward market tone for an eventual sale of FTR, in my view. Anyway, we’ll see what happens. Good luck and good wishes